Towards a Doll-like Shape, Weight Control Strategy

Dear Readers

If you have a goal, you should have a plan on how to reach that goal, or that goal will remain nothing but an unreachable dream. This also applies to altering your body’s shape. My own body is overweight. The first step I took was to do research on why the body accumulates fat. In doing so I also learned a lot about how the human body functions. You can read all about this in the previous post.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Calories In vs. Calories Out

In my post, Weight vs. Shape I discuss how Calories can shape you. In my own personal situation, I have been over eating, meaning taking in too many Calories. These excess Calories were then stored as body fat. Now I have the task of balancing out my body’s energy use so that it uses up the body fat. This will allow me to slim down and become healthier.

Fridge vs Pantry

Fat cells are the body’s ‘pantry’, the place it stores the extra energy. While your digestive system is the body’s ‘refrigerator’. When you get home and you are hungry, the first place you usually look for food is the refrigerator right? It’s the easiest and fastest place to get food. If there is nothing in the refrigerator, you must go to the pantry to get ingredients to cook a meal.

Your body works in a similar fashion. It prefers to get energy from the easy to access Calories that you have just put into your digestive system first. If there is no energy there, or too little there, it will go to the ‘pantry’ where extra energy has been stored. If the pantry is empty though, it will get energy from where ever it can. After all, breathing and having your heart pump blood is very important!

Controlling Your Weight
Finding the balance between the energy you consume in food and the energy you burn can be a tricky task!

Balancing Act

To maintain your weight exactly where it is, you should eat the amount of food you need to provide your body energy for the day. In my situation, I have a very full ‘pantry’. This means to empty out the pantry, or use up the stored fat, I must make sure the fridge does not have enough to cover the energy needed for the day. In other words, I need to have a Calorie deficit.

My strategy for this is twofold. First, I am now paying attention to what I am eating. This means I am keeping track of the number of Calories I am taking into my body. The second part, is looking at how many Calories I am burning each day. The number of Calories I am using every day, should be more than the amount I am eating. This in theory means that my body will start making use of the stored-up energy (fat) to make up the difference.

Tracking Calories In

Keeping track of what you eat can play a big role in helping you lose weight. There are several studies done that suggest keeping a food diary can help you lose up to twice as much weight.

A lot of use will often eat without even realising what we are doing. Have you ever sat down in front of the T.V. with a packet of crisps for example? You would be enjoying the show when suddenly the packet is empty. Tracking how many Calories you take in will instantly help make you more aware of your eating habits.

For more information on the benefits of a food diary you can read these articles:

I make use of the free service from MyFitnessPal. They have a large food database which makes tracking Calories fast and easy. A search function allows you to look up the food you want add to your meals for the day. If it isn’t in the database, there is also an option to add your own entry.

Tracking Calories Out

As I mentioned in the Weight vs Shape post, your body needs a certain number of Calories every day just to take care of all that it does, like breathing, digesting food, pumping blood etc. The number of Calories you burn while at rest (if you did nothing but sleep all day for example) is called your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. It is also commonly called a person’s metabolism.

As with your BMI, your BMR is calculated using your gender, age, height, and current weight. It is based on averages though, and is only an estimate. Each person will likely vary from the average a little. Some online BMR Calculators can help you get an idea of your body’s basic daily calorie burn:

BMR Calculator

Exercise

Exercise is the main method of Calorie outputs that you have control over. To move around physically requires your muscles to burn energy. The more physical activities you do, the more Calories you burn.

But, don’t be fooled! You cannot eat irresponsibly and hope to just exercise it all away. It takes a lot of time and effort just to burn the Calorie value of one unhealthy meal away. Your muscles also need time to rest and recover. Exercising for many hours every single day is not realistic. Unless you are a fitness instructor who has studied the human body and this is your job of course. But then I doubt you would be eating unhealthy meals!

Don’t misunderstand, I think exercise is very important. It helps to build a beautiful toned, healthy body. But it is only one part of the whole.

Tracking Exercise

How much energy you burn while you exercise will vary with the type of exercise and its intensity. The other factors that will influence how many calories you burn include age, gender, and current weight.

The MET or Metabolic Equivalent Task is one of the easier methods of determining how much energy you burned while doing a specific activity. One MET is the energy you expend at rest while two METs means you are using twice the energy you would be using at rest. You can find a list with a few examples of activities and their equivalent METs on topendsports.com.

MyFitnessPal has inbuilt exercise calculator that you can use to track Calories burned with each exercise done. You simply need to enter the exercise type and how many minutes you spent doing it. There are also many other exercise apps available that will do the same. If you don’t want to use an app, freedieting.com will allow you to calculate it online.

Move More Weigh Less
Making use of the fat stores in your body by burning extra energy with exercise is a great strategy to help you trim down.

Benefits of Exercise

We all know that exercises good for your overall health, not just for weight control. There are many studies that show how exercising reduces your risk to get certain diseases such as diabetes and cancer. But as a Living Doll, there are important benefits to exercising.

Healthier Skin

The boost in circulation that exercise gives you has great benefits for your skin. It helps get extra nutrients to your skin and help eliminate those nasty toxins. Exercise also boosts oxygen to the skin which helps increase the natural production of collagen. Collagen is the stuff that helps your skin to be elastic and looking young.

Improved Self-confidence

Exercise will help your body look better. It also helps reduce stress and improves your mood. Stress can sometimes cause your skin to break out, or make you crave unhealthy foods. If you look better and feel better, your self-confidence will also gradually start to increase.

Increased Metabolism

When you exercise, you build muscle density. More muscle means more energy burned, even when you are resting. Which means you can have that cupcake at the tea party guilt free!

Additional Reading

Want to know more about the benefits of exercise? Here are some links with some extra reading:

Realistic Weight Expectations

One of the big reasons people fail in their weight loss journey is because they have unrealistic expectations. To reach your weight goal is not something that can happen overnight. It is not something that will even happen in a week. It is going to take a lot of time and dedication. In the end, a healthier, more beautiful doll, will be well worth the journey.

There are two things you should also keep in mind on your journey. If you are aware of them, you are less likely to be disheartened when you encounter them:

  • Your weight will fluctuate throughout the day. A fluctuation of 1kg (2.2 pounds) is normal. Many factors influence this fluctuation, from how much water you drink, the kinds of food you eat, how many times you visit the bathroom and even your hormone levels.
  • Muscle weighs more than fat. When you incorporate more physical movement into your day, you will build up some muscle tone. So, the weight scale may stay at the same number or even go higher when you start out. Don’t panic! A more accurate way to measure your progress would be to measure centimetres or inches lost around your belly for example. Or to get a scale that measures the percentages of body fat and muscle as mentioned in the previous post.
A Healthy Lifestyle for Weight Loss
For long lasting healthy changes, it is best to take it one small step at a time and to work towards your goals slowly but steadily!

Slow and Steady Wins the Weight Race

By now you have learned that having a Calorie deficit every day is what you need for your body to start making use of those fat stores in the pantry and you to slim down. It may be very tempting to try and go for the maximum weight loss as quickly as possible, but I honestly don’t recommend this.

If you make your daily Calorie deficit too large, it can be difficult to keep it up. You will be more prone to feeling hungry and in a bad mood, you may feel like you have no energy to get anything done. You may even end up binge eating unhealthy food when you give into that hunger.

Eating too little Calories every day can also put your body into starvation mode, where it will start using your muscles for fuel as well. It also means that when you do it, your body will think it may be ages before I get food again, and store as much of it as possible as fat reserves. Exactly the opposite of what you want!

One Small Change at a Time

Habits and mindsets that have been there for years will be difficult to change and maintain all in one go. Start by changing one small habit. It may not seem like much but those small changes will quickly start to add up. For example, if you normally drink four cans of soda a day, start by substituting out one of those four cans with a glass of water. Do that for a week, and then the following week, replace another can of soda with a glass of water. After two weeks, you will already be drinking half the soda you used to.

The right amount of Calories for Weight Loss

So, by now you are wondering what is the number of calories you should be eating to achieve weight loss. Which foods are healthy and which are not? I would like to direct you to two very useful articles I found which should answer all these questions and more.

  1. Caloric Deficit To Lose Weight – Setting Your Calorie Intake For Weight Loss
  2. How Many Calories Should I Eat Per Day To Lose Weight & Lose Fat?

This has been the general guideline for what I have been using to slim down and it has been working well for me (provided I stick to it).

Remember to always be kind to yourself and that even dolls can occasionally slip up. It’s not the end of the world, tomorrow is a new day, a chance to start fresh again. Believe in yourself and work towards your dreams.

 

Towards a Doll-like Shape, Weight vs. Shape

Dear Readers,

Today I am going to approach a subject which I think in this day and age is something that we have all thought about at least once, our weight. Body shape and weight is often a subject that I see hotly debated on different forums. So what exactly then is the ideal weight and does this automatically give you the perfect shape? What exactly should a living doll look like then?

Body Mass Index or BMI

Have you ever tried looked up what your ideal weight is? Then you have probably encountered the term Body Mass Index or BMI for short. I don’t want to get too technical, so I will explain it as simply as possible. The BMI is a number they work out from a mathematical formula that uses a person’s weight and height. This result is compared to what is considered ‘healthy’ for a person of the same biological gender and age. This is how they see if a person are overweight or underweight.

BMI Warning!

Humans are very different from each other so you should not take your ideal BMI as the absolute rule for what you should weigh! The BMI formula is not 100% accurate and because humans are so diverse. It cannot factor in everything that will influence the final result. You can use it to give yourself some idea of what a healthy weight is for you, but in the end, only you will know how realistic it is for your own body.

BMI Calculators Online

If you are not every good with maths there are several online sites where you simply enter your information and press a button. They do all the calculations for you and give you your BMI value:

carrots, healthy, fresh
carrots by vanessa lollipop is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Shape versus Weight

While it can be tempting to see the number on the scale as the only way to measure your body, it can sometimes be deceiving! Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue. This means that a person who wears Medium sized clothing can weigh the same as a person who wears Large sized clothing, even though their shapes are very different.

This is when it becomes important to take a more in-depth look at the percentage body fat, the percentage muscle tissue and a person’s bone density. A lot of people consider measuring the percentage body fat as a more accurate assessment of a body’s condition than the use of BMI.

Percentage Body Fat

I make use of a scale at home which measures the percentage body fat I am carrying. This scale was only slightly more expensive than a regular scale. My local gym has a scale which also has the same function, but is probably more accurate than the smaller version I have at home. These scales make use of “bio-electrical impedance” to measure the resistance of your body fat to electricity. It does this by sending a small amount of electricity through your body, you probably will not even feel it. It is only harmful if you have a pacemaker.

My scale gives me a read out on my percentage body fat, percentage muscle tissue, bone density and hydration.

If you want to get a good visual idea of body fat, and learn a bit more about the different ways to measure it, you can go have a look at How To Properly Measure Body Fat. Alternatively a quick Google search will give you plenty of results. Including image results of photographs of real bodies with different fat percentages.

Fresh Red Strawberries
vanessa lollipop is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Calories and How They Work

Have you ever thought about the fat in your body and wondered how it got there? Maybe you have read up on various diets and have come across the word “Calorie“. Next time you have your favourite snack or soft drink in hand, take a moment to really read that label. Did you find something referring to ‘energy’? Or maybe the word kilojoule or one of the following symbols: kJ, kcal or Cal?

The Energy In Your Food

Humans (and animals) get energy from the food they eat. A Calorie is what we use to measure how much energy that food gives us as our body breaks it down. Similar to how you would use centimeters or inches to measure how long something is.

You as a living, breathing human need energy to live. It can sometimes feel like the only time you are really using energy is if you are exercising, like running for example. But you would be very wrong! Your body is constantly using energy just to keep you alive!

Most of the energy you get from your food actually goes towards basic body functions. Your body is using energy to do things you don’t even think about, like pumping blood around. Digesting your food also burns calories and so does breathing. You are using energy when you blink and even when you think! All your cells need the energy to keep doing what they do.

Calories Can Shape You

You may be wondering what exactly Calories and energy in food have to do with the shape of your body. Quite a lot as a matter of fact. By now you know that the food you eat gives your body energy to do what it needs to. But here is the catch, your body is only going to use what it needs. If you eat more Calories than what your body is going to use up, it is going to store the extra as, yes you guessed it, fat. The fat you have stored up in your body is going to affect its shape.

There is, of course, the other end when you take in too little Calories to cover the energy you need. Then your body needs to get the energy it is shorting from elsewhere in your body. That is when it turns to the fat cells to release the energy stored up. But if you do not have enough fat cells, your body will break down your muscles to get energy from them instead. Both of these will of course also influence your shape!

chocolate indulgence
chocolate by vanessa lollipop is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ideal Doll Shape

So now the big question; what exactly is the ideal body shape for a living doll? A doll is usually shaped by it’s creator and each creator is an artist. As with all works of art, the artist will shape their creation to what they as in individual consider ideal or beautiful. What one person considers the perfect shape another may not like at all. People have different tastes, diversity is after all the spice of life.

Living dolls are not all created from a single mould. Even dolls that are created from a single mould in a factory environment can have differences from one to the next. Humans come in many different shapes and sizes.

Healthy is Beautiful

Your genetics will determine a lot of your appearance, including your shape to some extent. However, the good news is you also have a lot of control over your shape.

In my humble opinion, the ideal body shape for a living doll should be the one that reflects a healthy state. I see beauty when I see someone who’s body is well looked after. By this I mean they pay attention to the kinds of food they provide their body with for energy. They make sure it is just enough food, not too little or too much. They take the time to exercise and groom themselves. You can easily see them beam with vitality. This to me is beautiful, regardless of their exact waist measurement size (or any other body part).

My Own Doll Shape

Currently, my shape is not healthy. Currently, I am carrying a lot of extra body fat. I didn’t view food as nourishment for my body, instead, I would often eat because I liked the taste. Food was a way to ‘reward’ myself or something to make me feel better after a difficult day. I didn’t realise the unhealthy consequences until none of my clothes would fit anymore.

As an aspiring living doll, I have realised that appearance is important. My appearance is something I should take pride in and right now that is not the case. It will be a lot of hard work and determination to change, but I am working towards my ideal healthy shape.

I have worked out my strategy and I plan to mould myself into a beautiful, healthy, glowing living doll.

 

Questions to Myself and You

Questioning and Pondering
So many questions!

Dear Readers

I have been pondering some difficult questions over the last few weeks. I am going to share with you the questions and thoughts that have been running through my mind.

Question: Do I still want to become a doll?

I have been doing a long hard internal battle with this question. My logical mind has been attempting to reason with me, stating exactly why this desire to be a doll is everything from childish and irrational to simply stupid and impossible. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

No matter how often I try to lay aside the thought it is still there. Constantly denying it is an exhausting and futile exercise.

If you were me, I wonder what you would say to this?

Question: What kind of doll do I want to be?

I am not entirely sure of the answer to this one. While researching the various doll subcultures no single one stood out to me as “the one”. I have narrowed my preference to two options. One of the two options would be Animegao Kigurumi the other option would be a cross between the ‘Kawaii Doll’ and Dollification. Each of these options appeal to me for their own reasons, but each also have their own unique challenges. Which type of doll would you like to see me become more? Please let me know in the comment section, or even via email.

Question: Am I too old to be a living doll?

My own personal answer to this one would be yes. I am also sure there are several people who would agree with me. When looking at some of the doll subcultures they are largely composed of people who are at least 10 years (or more) younger than myself. I honestly feel I have no business in even attempting to interact with these people. Yet I plucked up the courage to do so and raised the question of age to them. Surprisingly those that I spoke to believe that there is no age issue and that anyone of any age or gender can be a doll.

It is based upon their answers that I am willing to lay aside my issue with being too old. I would love to hear what you think about this question though. Let me know if you have an opinion.

question that sometimes drives me hazy
Am I or are the others crazy?

Question: What am I going to do now?

I believe my next steps on this journey would be to find more people who are supportive. Having told Clara and getting the positive response I did makes me realise how good it is to have understanding and supportive people on this subject.

I think I should also do some more research into the different types of dolls out there. I feel like I still have a lot to learn in this area.

I am also hoping to continue exploring the more feminine aspects of myself. This applies to clothing, make-up, hair, and even mannerisms. This exploration is proving to be very enjoyable.

Question: What is the future of this blog?

Although I am filled with uncertainty when I am faced with this question, I am also equally filled with hope and possibilities.There were some days where I was on the verge of deleting this blog entirely and giving up on this journey, but my heart urges me to continue onward.

It is my hope to grow this blog and perhaps even find readers whom I can add to the pool of understanding and supportive people.

5 Living Doll Subcultures I Researched

Dear Readers

I have been spending the last few weeks doing some research into the various Living Doll subcultures. What I have discovered has surprised me, as there are many subcultures that makes use of the term “Living Doll”.

If you type Living Doll into a search engine you will be presented with a wide array of results ranging from a song made popular by Cliff Richard, an Australian clothing brand, and episode from The Twilight Zone which first aired November 1, 1963.

It needed a lot of surfing, reading and filtering to get to the information I was actually interested in. What was immediately apparent though was the fact that there appears to be no single, clear cut definition of what a “Living Doll” is. So to cover all of the bases that I have found, below you will find a short introduction to each of the subcultures I encountered.

Barbie Dolls

This is not an official name for this subculture. I am not even sure if it qualifies as a subculture as there are very few who would be able to successfully pull this appearance off. It is the name I will be using to describe a group of girls and women who have attained internet fame for their looks and are quite often compared to the popular doll Barbie by Mattel. It is probably the first thing most people would think of if you bring up the term Living Doll.

This trend of Living Barbie Dolls appears to have its roots in the Ukraine, with the most famous names including Nastya Shpagina, Alina Kovalevskaya and Valeria Lukyanova. These ladies sport seemingly impossible figures with very tiny waists and large busts giving them a resemblance to Barbie. They have also been described as having very anime like features. This is because in most Japanese anime, the characters have very exaggerated physical features which a person would not normally see in the real world.

Barbie Dolls in Mainstream Media

Valeria, Nastya and Alina have gained quite a bit of fame for their appearance, but a lot of it has been negative. The mainstream media tends to do media pieces on these ladies as “creepy”, like for example this ABC Newscast available on YouTube:

(what tickles me pink about them finding Valeria creepy, is they have no problem giving their children a Barbie to play with, but that is another topic)

There are all manner of rumours flying around on the internet as to whether these ladies have had cosmetic surgery or if their photos have been photoshopped and so on. I am not going to delve into the mud flinging contest and try and find the truth, especially as each girl’s story will be unique. A simple Internet search on any of their names will bring up several articles and videos if you wish to know more about them. What I can say is they show some serious dedication in achieving their appearance and are expert makeup artists! From this subculture, this is what impresses me most. With some makeup artistry, they can change their entire appearance to something almost otherworldly. They inspire me to spend some more time in front of the mirror experimenting.

My thoughts on Barbie Dolls

While I admire the dedication of the Living Barbie Dolls, I cannot help but question the long-term health effects of what they are allegedly putting their bodies through. Personally, I think being healthy is a large part of what makes a person beautiful. If they are not straining their health in favour of appearance, then I see no wrong with the situation though.

As for my own body, I don’t even think my bare skeleton will have that waistline. Aspiring to such an appearance would be an unrealistic goal for me. I don’t like the idea of someone slicing me open and fidgeting with my insides either. So even if I could afford cosmetic surgery, I probably wouldn’t consider it. I really dislike hospitals and avoid them as far as possible. People who have cosmetic surgery done have a level of bravery I cannot muster.

Kawaii Dolls

This subculture is a name I am putting to a group of ladies who call themselves living dolls. The word ‘kawaii’ comes from the Japanese language and is an adjective meaning ” pretty; cute; lovely; charming; dear; darling”. It has however evolved beyond being a word into representing an entire culture of cuteness. This culture extends into everything from handwriting, various merchandise, clothing and fashion and interestingly mannerisms.

The Lolita Fashion subculture is closely associated with and often overlaps with Kawaii Living Dolls. Lolita is a fashion subculture originating in Japan that is based on Victorian and Edwardian clothing and has many subcategories within itself such as Gothic Lolita and Sweet Lolita. It has no connection to Vladimir Nabokov’s book Lolita. It is important to remember though that not all Lolita think of themselves as dolls and not all dolls dress in Lolita fashion. But there are girls who call themselves living dolls that also have an interest in Lolita fashion and combine the two. I will discuss the various fashion subcultures in a separate post though.

SD Lolitas – Balboa Park-4779 by Mooshuu is licensed under CC 2.0

Examples of Living Dolls that I would say are Kawaii Dolls are the young ladies such as Venus Isabelle Palermo, better known as Venus Angelic; Dakota Ostrenga better known as Dakota Rose or Kotakoti. I am sure that there are many Asian Kawaii Dolls that I am not aware of. It is not surprising to find that like the Living Barbie Dolls, the Kawaii Dolls too have plenty of controversy surrounding them. Accusations of photoshopping photos being the main point. In addition, there are several unflattering articles, some with alleged evidence attached that expose a ‘not-so-pretty’ side, personality wise, of these Living Dolls. As before, I refrain from digging through the mud. It is up to each reader to decide to investigate further and make up their own minds.

Kawaii Just in Appearance?

Kawaii Dolls often wear clothing with ribbons and bows. They favour makeup that makes them look childlike and innocent, with large eyes and tiny mouths. The rule of thumb for these dolls as far as appearance goes is, the cuter the better.

While I am sure that many of us wish we naturally had the cute flawless appearance these young ladies present to the world, I have come to realise while researching them that inner beauty is just as important. You can photoshop as much as you want, but if your inner self isn’t pretty, it will show through eventually. Please note I am not saying that the accusations are true or false. I am just saying that outer appearance isn’t everything.

Kawaii Dolls also appear to have excellent makeup skills, something which I need to develop. They are also not afraid to embrace cuteness which I admire as I am hesitant in that regard. I feel as though my age would make it seem very silly for me to wear oversized hair bows and very frilly clothing.

Masking

Masking seems to be a subculture subsisting largely if not entirely of males who dress as females. Not something I was expecting to find when researching the term Living Doll. On the surface Masking may appear like the “Drag Queen” subculture there are some very definite differences.

Drag queens dress and act with exaggerated femininity, using dramatic over the top makeup, eyelashes and hair. They do this for comic, dramatic, or even satirical effect. The drag queen culture is very much associated with gay men and gay culture, though I am sure there are exceptions. They are sometimes called transvestites, but this is a term that most drag queens do not favour. Drag queens usually cross-dress for purposes of entertainment and self-expression which does not accurately describe those who cross-dress for the fulfilment of transvestic fetishes.

On the other hand, female maskers appear to be mostly heterosexual men some of whom are married. Again, as with everything, I am sure there are exceptions and I make no claims at being an expert. Instead of making use of makeup Maskers wear latex or silicone masks, torsos or a full body suit to make themselves look like a woman. Frozen in a single expression the mask gives the impression of a doll or mannequin. Therefore, the terms living doll or even rubber doll are used to describe them.

Maskers in the Public Eye

At masking conventions,these men don their masks (and other accessories) and participate in activities in a group, such as going out to a club. But most of them only practice masking in the comfort of their own home for fear of how society may judge or react to them should they go out in public.

A documentary called “Secrets of the Living Dolls” is one of the first to bring the Masking subculture into the spotlight. It is this documentary that most of the popular articles you will find on the Internet on Masking are based off.

While I do not fall into the demographic of those who practice Masking, I do find the idea of a mask and even a body suit appealing. Perhaps this is because the mask will allow a drastic non-permanent, non-surgical change in features. Or perhaps it is because of the anonymity the mask will provide. However, there does not appear to be such items made specifically for women wanting to mask. Besides the availability problem these masks and ‘skins’ are rather pricey, well out of reach for me.

Animegao Kigurumi

Animegao kigurumi appears to be a specific branch of kigurumi. “Kigurumi” comes from a combination of two Japanese words: kiru (“to wear”) and nuigurumi (“stuffed toy”) and is a term used to describe costumed performers, specifically mascots. The word animegao translates as meaning “anime face” and animegao kigurumi is used to describe a form of mascot-style cosplay that emulates Japanese anime characters.

While it seems like this subculture was initially born in the commercial circles in Japan, as part of promoting popular anime series, like the way cartoon character mascots are used in the western world. It was then embraced by cosplayers, who are also sometimes called dollers. These cosplayers began dressing as their favourite characters or sometimes even characters of their own creation. Wikipedia states that “the characters are usually female, and commonly human, although kigurumi characters of other races and genders do exist”.

Animegao Kigurumi Cosplay

Animegao kigurumi cosplay has two important distinctions from the cosplay variety that most of us are familiar with. The person will be wearing on oversized mask with anime features, to help achieve the correct proportions of the animated character. The other major feature is a peach or flesh coloured zentai or bodysuit. The zentai suit covers the person completely head to toe, leaving nothing of the person exposed. This is also to help more closely emulate the anime character, giving them an even “coloured in” skin complexion.

What was rather interesting for me to read was about the male and female ratio involved in animegao kigurumi. In Japan, per the Tumblr Animegao, there are far more male animegao cosplayers or performers than female, but in the professional circles, where companies hire cosplayers or performers specifically for promotions, there are far more females than males. The fact that one finds so many males “dolling up” as female characters immediately made me think of the Masking subculture. They also share a similarity in wearing a mask and body suit, even if the materials used are different.

Test 0.01 by Beryl Chan is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal

My discovery of animegao kigurumi was purely by chance, but it is by far one of the doll subcultures that I find most intriguing. I feel myself drawn to the idea of not leaving any part of the person dressing as a doll exposed. This seems like it will create a more complete immersion experience for both the doll and outside viewers. The anime masks by default have very exaggerated features that make them a step removed from normal humans and in this way perhaps more doll like. Maybe for a while it would be possible for a time to see only a doll instead of human in a costume.

Kigurumi’s Other Meanings

I should also mention that kigurumi may also refer to animal style onesies that are too adorable for words. They are most often sold as pyjamas, but from what I read are sometimes worn as costumes to costume parties or even just for fun. Of course, kigurumi can also be used to describe fursuits often crafted and worn by those who identify as “furries”. Hence the term animego kigurumi is used to distinguish those dressing as anime characters from the rest.

Dollification

This subculture falls squarely into the fetish or kink scene and while it shares overlapping ideas with other Living Doll subcultures it has a definite underlying sexual nature. The forum site Dollification.com defines dollification as the process of evolving, mentally and physically into a “living doll”.

Like a Master/slave or Dom/sub relationship where the doll will have an “Owner” or a desire to be owned. However, there is no intention to degrade or diminish the value of the doll. Often such relationships appear to have extremely complex natures that are not easily explained. I have no personal experience in this subculture and I will make no attempt to expand on the intricacies of such a relationship. I can only present what information I have encountered and be open to correction.

Living Doll Physical Characteristics

The listed mental characteristics of a “living doll” include the enjoyment of objectification, natural subservience. An underlying desire to be transformed whether by their own hand or outside forces into a living doll is also a characteristic.

The physical characteristics cover a broad spectrum and are not limited by a specific pre-defined ‘ideal’. The ideal physical aspect is often set forth by the doll itself, an Owner or a combination. Some of the physical extras include but are not limited to corsets, stiletto heels, stockings, dresses, skirts and of course make up. Rubber, vinyl and plastic suits are also as potential parts of dollification. Body modification such as piercings, tattoos, surgery are not beyond the realm of possibility.

As for the gender participation, there appears to be both men and woman involved in dollification. Women being made more doll like, men being made to look like female dolls, and men being made to look like male dolls.

I like the concept of there not being a predefined perfect physical ideal and that each doll has one specifically set up for them. This means that a realistic attainable goal can be set and worked towards rather than striving towards something that is impossible to reach.

Britisk korsett fra 1883 One and Two by din_bastet is licensed under CC 2.0

Corsets have always been something that I have honestly been drawn towards. I enjoy the feeling I get when wearing them as I don’t get to wear them as often as I would like. As for stiletto heels and stockings I don’t own either of these items. I admitted before my wardrobe is not very feminine, with hardly a dress or skirt in sight. The idea of a body suit or second skin appears in this subculture as well, something which overlaps with some of the other subcultures.

Living Doll Mental Characteristics

The mental characteristics that have been listed have given me a lot of pause for thought. Objectification as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows: to treat someone as an object rather than as a person. Part of me is very curious and would like to experience an objectification situation to see if it something I could find enjoyment from. As for the desire to be transformed, well, I think this blog is proof that this probably does exist within me.

“While not all who possess these innate qualities will embrace them, it will not change that it is part of who they are by nature.” – dollification.com

This sentence struck quite a chord with me. It both terrifies and encourages me to continue this journey of discovery.

In conclusion

The term Living Doll means different things to different people. There is no clear-cut definition or blanket doll archetype that covers all the subcultures. While I have covered some of the Living Doll subcultures I do not claim that this list is complete. I invite readers to please give feedback on any other subcultures they know of, as well as to correct any misinformation in this post.

I would also like to thank everyone who has put up with my ramblings thus far. Knowing that there are people out there reading my blog encourages me to continue.